Pacers assistant coach Greg Foster and player Goga Bitadze got into it during Indiana’s loss to the Kings yesterday.
The organization took action.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Pacers are suspending assistant Greg Foster for one game and fining Goga Bitadze for exchange on court Wednesday, sources tell ESPN. Foster and Bitadze have had a strong working relationship this season and that’s expected to continue, but emotions are running high in Indiana.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 6, 2021
Maybe Foster and Bitadze really do have a strong working relationship. Neither Foster calling out Bitadze for a defensive miscue nor even Bitadze telling Foster “Sit the f*** down” after making a 3-pointer would necessarily be incongruent with that. People can challenge and even snap at each other within some strong working relationships – especially in the highly competitive NBA.
But it sure didn’t look like a strong working relationship as Foster barked at Bitadze for such a prolonged period.
It just looked like Foster completely lost his cool (maybe in part because Bitadze crossed a line).
I’m curious who within the Pacers decided on these punishments. Maybe Bjorkgren, despite his initial downplaying, was highly involved once he had more time to assess the situation.
Or maybe this is another indicator Bjorkgren is losing his authority.